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RW Mutch Equitation Championship

The RW Mutch Equitation Championship went into Thermal like a lamb and came out like a lion. Thirteen riders from the qualifying classes at Themal and Arizona

competed over 2 courses designed by USET veteran, Mark Leone. After a pre-competition rider's meeting, horses, riders and grooms were sent into a "quarantine area" and the trainers and parents were relegated to the stands to watch.

The schooling area was judged by Hunter Trainer, Otis Brown and World Champion Show Jumper, Ireland's, Eddie Macken. Their scores from the schooling area carried a 9 point range bonus or penalty depending on the rider's pre-class warmup.

Matt Collins, a former equitation finals winner, show jumpers Michael Endicott, Mandy Porter and Chris Pratt joined Kim Dorfman to form the judges panel.

After a first round where the top two riders were only one point apart, the riders prepared for the second round over a different course. The first 8 riders competed and then wind gusts of over 80 miles per hour swept through the Valley knocking down much of the course and forcing officials to postpone the last 4 riders rounds until the next morning.

Carly Anthony, riding Vogue, scored a come from behind victory to win the class by one point over Shelby Wakeman. Both the Champion and Reserve Champion were

trained by Karen Healey. Wakeman's horse, San Francisco, was named the Best Equitation Horse as well as the Best Turned Out Horse. Luis Cevantes received

the Best Groom's Award.

Bernie Traurig, a former equitation finals winner, said,"In my opinion, we need more classes like this that encourage riders to think for themselves and put

more emphasis on good horsemanship. Over the last 4 decades, we have lost many great mentors like Ronnie Mutch and Rodney Jenkins who taught their riders to be

more responsible riders and horseman."

Winning trainer, Karen Healey, was thrilled with her one two win. "I have always wanted a major championship for the West Coast and we are thrilled to have the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship here!!!!!"

The antique sterling silver trophy, in memory of the late Ronnie Mutch, is " presented by his friends and peers" whose names are engraved around the trophy's


There were smiles all around as the riders received sterling silver medals, coolers, ribbons, and a copy of Ronnie's book,"Mutch About Horses"

The Foundation would like to thank Tom Struzzieri, Fred Bauer and the HITS staff for their generous support of the most prestgious class of its kind.

The R.W. Mutch Educational Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) foundation that provides a scholarship program to deserving riders who most closely represents the ideals of the late Ronnie Mutch. The scholarship is funded exclusively by donations received throughout the year. Please visit http://www.rwmutch.com for details.


1. Carly Anthony trained by Karen Healey

2. Shelby Wakeman trained by Karen Healey

3. Hillary Neff trained by Archie Cox

4. Tina DiLandri trained by Karen Healey

5. Michelle Morris trained by Karen Healey

6. Natasha Traurig trained by Hap Hansen

7. Maggie Earle trained by Emily Esau

8. Samantha Harrison trained by Karen Healey

9. Jocelyn Neff trained by Mark Watring

10.Nicoletta Von Heidegger trained by Joe Thorpe

11.Jessica Arnold trained by Emily Esau

12.Hannah Selleck trained by Karen Healey


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